Tried to come up with some critters for today's post, but all I have recently is photos of an American Toad, Bufo americanus, and a Spring Peeper, Pseudacris crucifer. Both of them came right up on our deck (and one on the table) to say hello!
The toad was out there on a rainy day, just sitting in the rain quite close to the house. It certainly didn't hurry away from me though I had to tip toe along the side of the deck to stay under the eave to get the pictures.
A bit of a side view lets you see the ear just behind the eye, and the somewhat yellowy throat.
There are clear 'warts' on the back, but contrary to the old wives' tale, handling them doesn't give you warts. Both of these are ampibians, along with all the rest of the Salamanders, Frogs and Toads, having eggs with no shells that are laid in ponds in the spring.
The Spring Peeper was truly tiny. You don't think of them up on a dry deck in the sun, but once they spend spring in the pond breeding and echoing their loud distinctive call, they do disperse to live in leaf litter in the woods until the following year.
Close up, the eyes are so similar in colour to the nearby skin that it's hard to make them out. I feared in would be hurt jumping the 2.5 feet down from the table, and have no idea how it would get up on the table! Spring Peepers are one of those frogs that can actually survive some of the fluids in their body freezing, one of the first you here in April here, when there is probably still some ice in the pond.
The diagnostic 'X' on the back was very clear on this tiny frog. Some descriptions of this frog do label it a tree frog and suggest it can climb, so perhaps it climbed up the glass on our deck railing and jumped to the table! Still a very long jump for a creature only a bit more than an inch long.